Sunday, November 23, 2008

VAT reduction on the cards?

The BBC are reporting that the Government proposes to cut VAT by 2.5% in an attempt to stimulate the British economy.

Since the G20 summit in Washington there has been speculation of possible tax cuts including

  • Increased tax allowances.
  • A rebate.
  • Increases in payments to those in receipt of tax credits

Whilst this may be a fair and equitable way of reducing costs, in isolation I doubt it is enough, it works out as ~£25 per £1k spent. Hardly noticeable. In addition, the reduction may not be passed on to consumers as retailers, wholesalers, importers and manufacturers swallow the reduction in increased profit margins.

I do hope you have more to offer Mr Brown.

As things stand, most people have received pay-rises well below inflation, the value of the pound is dropping like a stone, jobless figures are rising and so on.

"No more boom and bust"?

Yeah, right!

The Tories are talking about targeted (funded) tax cuts. This probably is the better policy in the long term. However, many are struggling and can't afford the luxury of thinking long term. In addition, the bank bailout is going to cost us all very dearly as time goes on, why shouldn't the taxpayer have some kind of assistance from this?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

UK Police Officers with criminal convictions

It was always my understanding that to be a Police Officer you could not have a criminal conviction at time of application and that anyone who incurred one during their service would likely be dismissed from the post.

Today, we find out that at least one force has (and presumably still does) employed officers who have a range of criminal convictions from assault to theft and benefits fraud to firearms convictions.

The story is reported on in Portsmouth Today.

I'm sure that on occasion there might be exceptional circumstances but by and large, do not feel the law should be upheld by convicted criminals. I'm not one and I could not recognise or accept the authority of a criminal in a uniform, could you?

Perhaps it is time for a campaign of FOIA requests to UK forces to see just how widespread this is?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gordon Brown on "Baby P"

PM Gordon Brown has denied his government are passing the buck in the tragic case of "Baby P".

His spokesman said

"There is an appropriate body for complaints regarding social care

"It is right that complaints should be directed to the Commission for Social Care Inspection to take appropriate action."

I'm sure that baby would agree had it become old enough to know the difference.

As it stands, a whistleblower alerted a number of Ministers of the situation in Harringey and were just bounced around difference organisations instead of someone realising the significance and taking ownership.

Quite frankly these despicable people have blood on their hands today.

Anyone working in industry knows that taking ownership of issues as they arise is critical. Why do ministers (elected to serve) not share in this?

And now, the cold hearted PM dismisses criticism by hiding behind process and procedure.

Nice to know how caring the state is.

Prince Charles, Birthday and succession

It's been a long time since i've updated this blog. Apologies for any return visitors. A lot has been going on over the last 12 months!

Today is Prince Charles 60th Birthday.

British media is full of discussion about whether he should or should not take the crown upon the death of The Queen.

People misunderstand the constitutional position, Charles WILL be king providing he does not die first or abdicate. William is NOT next in line and has no business taking the crown in lieu of his father.

But I think the biggest issue in this is simple: The UK does not have an elected head of state, there is no say in this matter for the public. This is not democratic, this is not the way a 21st Century nation should conduct itself.

As a republican, I appreciate the history of our Royal family but believe firmly that they are very much a relic of the past. The time has come for an elected head of state with powers similar to those of the US President. We need a figurehead we can believe in, someone who is selected by the people, not birth.

The only arguments I've heard to retain the Monarchy are:

They attract tourists

Is that really a good reason to have an unelected head of state? Someone offered immense privilege by birth, not merit?

I believe the tourists would still come and would have greater access to our historical buildings and sites.

Who would be head of state instead?

Surely this is an issue for the electorate? If this was open to anyone then this country has some of the greatest minds in the world. Could be someone from any walk of life.

Of course, if we were to abolish the Monarchy, this would be one of the greatest constitutional changes in our history, perhaps it would be time to create a written constitution giving us rights that have been rode roughshod over in the last decade or so.

Ultimately though, this won't happen any time soon. The political will just isn't there. I dare say that when the Queen is gone and we're looking at Charles as King, questions will start to be asked. Lets hope so.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Recrord numbers leaving the UK

Firstly, apologies for the lack of recent updates. Its been a busy time with much going on in my personal life.


More people left the UK last year than in any year since current records began in 1991, statistics show.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that some 385,000 people left the UK for the long term in the year to mid-2006.

Is it any wonder?

This bastardised nation is a shadow of its former self in every respect. People don't give a shit about each other. Greed is good, criminals operate with virtual impunity and its no longer ok to be British.

We're dictated to by a little political elite - usually right on tossers who think they're superior to the rest of us.

This country has brought it all upon itself.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Heads must roll at the Royal Mail

I'm sick and tired of this company.

I'm forced to use their service yet am held to ransom by their workers.

According to the BBC the CWU is planning more strikes over coming weeks.

Is this the 70's? Why are we allowing these people to dictate and hold us to ransom.

If they don't like their conditions, do what the rest of us in the real world do - get a new job.

If it were up to me I'd sack every last one of them on the spot.

Workshy, self centred, greedy bastards.

Fuck you Royal Mail and fuck you CWU.

A national disgrace.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This is the face of 21st Century Britain

This vile scumbag is typical of many teenagers and adults who infest the streets of the UK.

It is reported that he was personally responsible for 40% of crime in his town until his father reported him for damaging the family home.

Sadly, this type of vermin are common in the UK.

Most days of the week I see these types of people damaging property, physically attacking passers by, urinating in public, intimidating & shouting abuse at anyone they feel 'deserves' it.

On public transport they damage infrastructure, assault passengers & staff, play loud 'chav' music on their cheap mobile phones.

In their homes they play music to all hours irrespective on how many times they've been warned by the police or local authorities.

I grew up in one of the (officially) most deprived parts of the UK during the 80's/early 90's. Times were tough, unemployment was high & crime was endemic. Rarely did it include unprovoked aggression or rampant destruction of property.

The scale of this behaviour is worrying - now many parents and children are as bad each other - they've behaved this way unchecked so its natural their offspring follow in their parents footsteps.

What do we get in return? ASBO's and community service.

It would be a joke - if it was funny.

I don't claim to have the answers. How exactly do you deal with a sub working class feral group of people?

For starters, perhaps if the police didn't humour them as much as they do (friendly chats, on street warnings), maybe if the courts started handing out real sentences (not just a slap on the wrist) so that both deterrent and punishment can be understood by these people? How about people (usually people who don't have to live in areas infested by these vermin) stop making excuses for unacceptable behaviour?

We also have to enquire as to why we tend to be paying benefits to these workshy yobs. There is a job out there for every able bodied person. No excuse for not paying their own way.

Its time for a REAL CRACKDOWN on these people. They ruin the lives of countless honest hard working people.

More can be done - why do we accept that it isn't already happening?

This post is probably an extensive rant rather than a well formed arguement but I'm pig sick of these bastards!

Al-Qaeda condemns UK

That right-on paragon of virtue Ayman al-Zawahiri has released an audio tape condemning the UK for honouring Salman Rushdie.

I have already passed comment on this blog but do feel its worth reminding him of a couple of key points:

1). Not being a British citizen it is absolutely none of his business.
2). Not everyone in this country supports this particular honour (or the system in general).
3). Rushdie is a no-mark, a nothing, an inconsequential hack about whom most of us couldn't care less.

That said, I take issue with his threats. Who the hell does he think he is dictating to us?

Being a religious nutter does not give him carte blanche to discuss internal decisions of a sovereign nation - in the same way that other fanatics had no right whatsoever to harass and intimidate the Danes over cartoons posted in their newspaper.

Of course, the Foreign Office have spoken for 'us' -

The government has already made clear that Rushdie's honour was not intended as an insult to Islam or the Prophet Muhammad

Not sure what offends me most, Zawahiri's comments or the limp wristed response from the Foreign Office. Personally, I'd have requested they tell him to rot in hell.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Update on the Cannabis Granny

Back in March it was announced that Milecastle Housing were taking cannabis granny Patricia Tabram to court in order to evict her should she use, cultivate or deal the drug from their rented property.

Mercifully, a judge has decided that there will be an order but only to prevent Mrs Tabram if she cultivates or supplies the drug. This means she will be able to continue to use cannabis on the premises and can only be sanctioned by the police.


As an aside, It would appear that Milecastle Housing are paying attention to the negative publicity on this subject.

On the day of the judgement (Friday) I recieved the following hit to the previous entry -

Referring Link granny milecastle&meta=
Host Name
IP Address
Country United Kingdom
Region England
City London

So, If you're reading this Milecastle, leave the old dear alone. She's doing harm to no-one. If the state is so backwards as to not supply appropriate pain relief to those who need it, it isn't your place to operate as an moral guardian.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Alan Johnston Freed


BBC correspondent Alan Johnston has been released by kidnappers in Gaza after nearly four months in captivity.

He said it was "fantastic" to be free after an "appalling experience". Mr Johnston, 45, was seen leaving a Gaza City building accompanied by armed men.

He said he had been unable to see the sun for three months, and was once chained for 24 hours.

Fantastic news for a change!

Welcome back Alan!

Monday, July 02, 2007

President Bush: Serious abuse of Power

US President George Bush has commuted the sentence imposed on former Chief of Staff for Dick Cheney.

Scooter Libby was convicted this year and sentenced to 30 months in prison with two years probation.

Bush has now formally commuted the sentence.

At the time of his convction, Juror Denis Collins said -

"said he and fellow jurors found that passing judgement on Libby was 'unpleasant.' But in the final analysis, he said jurors found Libby's story just too hard to believe: 'We're not saying we didn't think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of, but it seemed like ... he was the fall guy'. Collins said the jury believed Libby was 'tasked by the vice president to go and talk to reporters.

If nothing else, doesn't this indicate Bush and Cheney know they have something to hide? This isn't one for conspiracy theorists, its one for Congress. They should impeach Bush and Cheney now.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Quote of the day

There is currently a documentary on ITV about the departure of Tony Blair.

Talking to people in a soup kitchen, one of those 'benefiting' from his social reforms -

I voted Labour - until i was made homeless

Not a hint of bitterness, cynicism or anger.

Hmm. The true intellect of a Labour voter.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Goodbye Blair

I'm not a fan of Blair, I never have been.

Just seen his speech in Parliament this afternoon.

Over the years I've said my bit on each of his plans, policies & actions.

He's made some poor decisions which have cost us all dearly. He's lied to us (intentionally or not) and he's took us into a number of wars. Some valid, some not.

That said, I do admire the way he bowed out today. It was odd to see him going after all this time. I was pleased to see the applause from all sides of the house.

I have a bottle of Glen Morangie here and I think a drop is in order. Not as a celebration more to toast the end of an era.

The question is of course, what happens now? What is Brown going to do now he has his prize?

I'm not a fan for various reasons but will judge him (as I suspect most will) on what he does. Lets hope its for the better.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hundreds trapped by flooding in Sheffield

June. A time when we can expect warm weather, blue skies and little rain.

June 2007. Hundreds trapped by flooding in Sheffield

Emergency services are mounting a major rescue operation after hundreds of people became trapped in their workplaces by rising flood waters in Sheffield.
People stranded inside buildings told Sky News how they had watched helplessly as walls were pulled down and cars swept away by torrents of water raging outside.

There seems to be an increasing number of these "freak" weather events around the world.

Welcome to climate change.

[Update 20:49]About an hour ago I saw one of the Sea King Helicopters flying over, presumably to aid in the rescue. It was an ominous sight. The more information that comes out, the worse the effects of this sound. Sky News are reporting that these floods are far more widespread than first thought and could affect other areas of that region.

I wish everyone involved all the best. These aren't areas you would expect to have problems with flooding.

$54 million claim for lost trousers dismissed

Strictly speaking, this isn't a UK story but It does highlight the dangers of the litigation culture which has found its way across the Atlantic in the last few years.

A US judge has lost a $54m (£27m) claim against a South Korean dry-cleaning firm which lost a pair of his trousers.

By refusing to pay him $1,000 (£500) after losing his trousers, they failed to honour a pledge to provide "Satisfaction Guaranteed", he argued.

But a Washington judge dismissed the case, which drew international attention, awarding the cleaners costs.

Legal groups have said the case, which has dragged on for two years and involved thousands of hours of legal investigative work, has damaged the image of the US judicial system.


I think the worst part of this story is that the suit was launched by a JUDGE

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Not sure I buy the bullshit they're selling about the Iran Sailors affair.

Irrespective of that, I take issue with -

On the decision to allow two sailors to sell their stories, there had been a "collective failure of judgment".

Armed forces personnel would be banned from selling stories in future he said.

Collective? No. Its the fault of the person who made the decision - who was it and do they still have a job? If so, why? Simple I guess - because it was a snide attempt at propaganda which failed miserably.

In addition - "banned in future" err.. aren't they already prohibited from doing this? Didn't this "collective" take the decision to make an exception?

As the gran on Catherine Tate would say - "...what a load of old shit"!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Queen's birthday honours: Bottom of the barrel


Salman Rushdie and Ryan Giggs have been 'honoured' this time around.

Fuck me! Talk about the dregs of society - a washed up author and a footballer.

Time to abolish the corrupt honours system. Whilst we're at it, time to get rid of the monarchy.